Though industry has a large role to play in the reduction of Greenhouse gases, what you do at home in your own domestic domain can, combined with efforts from other householders, can make a large impact too. There are many ways you can help. You might reduce the number of long drives you take to visit the day spa in St. Louis, make an effort to turn out lights in rooms when you leave, or invest in energy saving appliances. One of the more popular green initiatives for private citizens is buying a hybrid car.
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Hybrid cars are a type of vehicle that uses a combination of two energy sources to power the drive train. The vast majority are hybrids of internal combustion engines (the usual spark plug and piston arrangement) and an electric motor, though some industrial vehicles make use of different processes, such as compressed air, liquid nitrogen, or solar power, and other personal vehicles can operate partially on biomass or human (i.e. pedal) power. It is not only cars and trucks that can be hybrids. There also exist hybrid planes, trains, cranes, bicycles, and even ships.
Even amongst hybrid electric consumer cars, there are a variety of arrangements that allow the gasoline engine and the electric motor to work together to power the drive train (i.e. wheels) of the car. Innards can look wildly different, involving different sizes of heat shrink tubing or gears but basically the gasoline motor starts and runs the car while simultaneously charging the batteries that power the electric motor. When charging is complete, the energy from the batteries can then be used to drive the car while the gasoline engine takes a break.
The fuel economy of a hybrid vehicle is much more efficient than a comparable non-hybrid model. For instance, the standard Honda Civic gets an estimated 34 miles per gallon on the highway, while its hybrid counterpart gets 45. Correspondingly, if a Canadian architect were to choose a hybrid car to drive back and forth between building sites rather than a standard one, he could reduce his carbon emissions by between 25% and 90%.
A drawback to hybrid vehicles is that they cost more on the outlay, which may concern you if the gold bullion prices aren't in favor of your investments right now. However, given the savings in fuel costs hybrids generally pay for themselves in 3-5 years. Some popular hybrids include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Ford Escape Hybrid.